Finding housing for second year

Posted 8 months ago

...and beyond

Finding a home for your 2nd year and beyond can feel like a big step. We asked our current students about their search for a house, whether they had any difficulties and what they would do differently given the chance.

Katie

As a second-year university student, finding private accommodation can be an exciting yet daunting experience.

My search began by exploring Unihomes, Rightmove, and Zoopla. These websites offered many listings, both with and without included bills. The first lesson learnt was the importance of setting a budget and sticking to it. It's easy to get carried away when you stumble upon a dream property that's slightly above your budget!

After several viewings, my housemates and I found a promising four-bedroom property in Oldfield Park. Feeling pressure from other students securing housing, we hastily signed the contract in November. Retrospectively, I wish I took more time to consider houses; there were plenty available and even more released on the University’s StudentPad website in December.

Living in private accommodation had some challenges for us. An issue we faced was the presence of mould in the property. When our attempt to resolve this through the letting agents failed, we reached out to the local council. This was a significant turning point, and the issue was resolved. This experience taught me the importance of knowing your rights as a tenant and seeking help when needed. We now enjoy a comfortable and happy home.

Finding accommodation during your second year is an adventure. It's essential to take your time, consider your budget, and not rush into contracts. When issues arise, don't hesitate to reach out to the appropriate authorities and the University for help. By sharing my experiences, I hope to help you find a comfortable and enjoyable place to live off-campus!

Alice

My experience living in private accommodation in Bath has had its ups and downs. In my second year, I found myself sharing a house with girls I had met during quarantine who I didn’t know too well. We searched for a house on websites like Rightmove, Unihomes, and OnTheMarket. Using filters for room numbers, double beds and other amenities we wanted, the process of finding a house was relatively straightforward.

One challenge I encountered as an EU student was the need for a UK based guarantor. Without family in the UK, I had to turn to distant family friends to act as guarantors for my second year. For my fourth, I approached my English flatmate, and she kindly asked her uncle to be a guarantor for both of us, which worked perfectly. This isn’t always the answer as being a guarantor is quite a big responsibility. I’d encourage you to contact the University as I know there are services they can point you too if needed! I know my brother had similar issues and ending up having to pay rent upfront.

In hindsight, I should have been more selective in choosing my flatmates, as my second-year experience was not entirely positive. In my fourth year I was lucky to live with the same girls I lived with on placement (which ended up being my best friends). We mainly focused on location (close to bus stops in Oldifeld) having learned from my second year.

Aditi

It felt like I’d just started my first year and there was already talk about accommodation for next year. It was daunting, with all the buzz around housing and people finding housemates.

Me and my friends formed a group, and we started looking in November. While we started early, we were all international students and took time to gauge accommodation in the UK, looking at things like price, travel, bills etc.

Partway through our search we realised that our priorities didn't align. Some valued location, some valued the cost and for some, the aesthetics of the house. Making sure we were on the same page, required some compromises but we talked it out in the end.

Asking the right questions to landlord also made things a lot clearer. Questions about the price of bills, whether a guarantor was needed, and on contract clauses too. For example, leaving the heating on when we aren't home (something I now know tenants are required to do to prevent frost damage and damp).

We ended up going to over 6 house viewings and lost out on some houses we liked because other groups put a holding deposit down before us, but we managed to finalise our house in February.

We still had some challenges though. Coordinating bills took some time (help by open conversation and the app Splitwise ) and we’ve had some mold issues (solved using mold remover and moisture control) amongst other things. These issues haven’t stopped me truly enjoy living with my housemates. We’ve managed to make it our little home in Bath.

To find out more, visit the Privately Rented Accommodation webpage and stay up to date on information from ResLife by following the Instagram page @unibathreslife.